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Group Collaboration over the Web

This site was a demonstration and test bed for cooperative and group collaboration technologies, it is now a information site. Feel free to look around, I hope to be making the information that is here easier to find and understand in the coming months.

YEdit is a system that was created in order to solve the problem of easily editing web sites, while keeping the history of the site (to preserve and document the changes that have been made), and to ensure that the integrity of the site remains high (by having a record of all the changes, who made them, and when).

Combined with access controls both for accessing a page to edit, as well as controls on who can read it, provides a wide range of security, all of which are backed up by the full history of the page.

The range of access controls for editing goes from only allowing one verified person to edit a page, through to pages that are editable by the general public. The same range of controls exist for reading a page, ranging from private pages that only one person can access, through to pages that the general public can access.

Co-operative authoring and group collaboration over the World Wide Web is looking at the future development of the Web. It was one of the reasons that Berners-Lee created the Web in 1989 ; but this side of Internet is not as developed as it could be.

The purpose of this site is to fill this gap, by proposing and demonstrating a co-operative authoring tool (the actual creation and editing of web pages), as well as looking at the collaboration surrounding this authoring. In addition, the engine is flexible enough to allow the future development of other access methods, especially those that are web related.

So, what... ?

Group collaboration over the Web is useful for many things, including working with others on a shared document, sharing the responsibility for a web site, or just to have somewhere to take notes, regardless of where you or anyone else happen to be (at work, at home, or on the other side of the world).

Combine that with the ability to work with anyone, anywhere (including wireless :-), at any time. I am in New Zealand, you may be in America, and a friend might be in England, talk about working (or playing) around the clock (or in this case the world).

Our Goals :

  • Make a tool that is easy to use for anyone
  • Allow you to use whatever Web browser that you want
  • This site is for everyone, no discrimination between Web browsers or access methods here, even cell phone access (WAP) will be welcome once it is implemented
  • Editable by as many browsers as possible
  • Usable on any Java servlet enabled web site
  • Easy to integrate with non-Web based access
  • ...

Version 1:

Version 1 was the version that I created for my Master's thesis which had a great deal of flexibility and allowed a lot more to be done than just web editing. This version was previously live on this site, although only the online editing was usable. Other parts such as the web themes, were not enabled online due to the added complexity it would have presented to the casual web surfer.

Read my Master's thesis

Version 2:

Version 2 was a complete rewrite of version 1. Its new design, especially adapted to the Web, made it easier to use and to maintain. Unfortunately all that work was stolen in early 2003.



The concepts behind YEdit:

  • Co-operative authoring is when a group of people work together and share their ideas to produce a piece of writing that is well crafted and contains better information than any of the contributing group could have done on their own.

  • Group collaboration is similar to co-operative authoring, but the work that is created may not be a piece of writing. Group collaboration is a more general term, better suited to groups working on anything. It may be authoring a document, or it might be working on source code, or artwork.

  • History integrity

Browser compatibility:

This site has been created with all browsers in mind. Therefore all the pages should degrade gracefully.

Why start YEdit?

I have found that the Internet and the World Wide Web especially have been extremely useful resources, thanks to some of the great people that have gone out of their way to create useful web sites. I have started this site because I would like to give back to the Web community (yes that means you) at least a little bit of what I have gained over the years, and hopefully add to the future usefulness of the Web.

When will the active part of the site be back?

Short answer: It won't be. I no longer have any of the code for it after having it all stolen when my flat was burgled.

Will YEdit be available for use by me for my web site?

See the above question.


Have a question?

Do you have a question that you think should be a part of the FAQs here? If so contact me, and I will consider adding it.